Day 5: Around Bulgaria in 14 days

Day 5 was really exciting and I couldn’t wait to get to the last destination for the day, which was Razlog and hill Golak. But let’s tell the story chronologically. We woke up at 8am at the hotel in Melnik. The city is very quiet and cozy, which allows you to really rest and sleep properly. We headed to the hotel’s restaurant, where there was a large selection of on-site meals for breakfast. Well, we love mekitsi and stick to them. In fact, if it hasn’t been clear by now – we’re crazy fans of Mekitsi. Breakfast, lunch, evening we can only eat that.

First stop: Sandanski

After breakfast we loaded our luggage and took off. We were thinking of heading directly for Popina Luka Waterfall, but instead first stopped in Sandanski for a short rest. We stopped at St. Vrach Park. The park is one of the largest in Bulgaria and the only one with sand alleys. It is located between the two sides of the Sandanska Bistritsa River, and to deal with the mosquito problem, 18 cedar and Sophora saplings from Italy were delivered in 1919. Walking around the park is a real pleasure – you can enjoy the beautiful landscape, ride a water bike even take pictures of the walking swans, ducks and other birds in the area.

The exact location of the park can be found at this link leading to GoogleMaps – St. Vrach Park. There are enough parking spaces near the park where you can safely park your car. And here are some shots from the spot:

Popina Luka Waterfall

After the Sandanski tour, we headed to Popina Luka and the famous waterfall. The road from Sandanski to Popina Luka was relatively short, it took us about half an hour, but in some places it was quite curly. When we arrived, Google Maps told us the waterfall was near us. And it really was. We parked very close to the waterfall, and to get there, we had to go down a rocky, but easy path. The waterfall is located in Pirin at 1230 meters above sea level and is located along the river Bashliytsa a hundred meters above its confluence with the river Sarchaliytsa, which together give rise to the Sandanska Bistritsa river. The waterfall is 15 meters tall, although I thought it was even taller. The nice thing is that the waterfall is really easy to reach, which gives you more time to enjoy it properly. The moment I saw it, I realized that this would be my new favorite waterfall in Bulgaria.

I tried to get into the water and reach the waterfall. I could hardly make a more stupid decision. The water was cold as ice and only 3 seconds later I had to get out, as my feet began to freeze. So I decided to enjoy the waterfall from a distance.

Later, other tourists came and took their pictures at the waterfall. We decided to leave them alone and we sat down at a nearby diner. I liked the view from there, though it may not be something special for some:

After lunch we headed to Razlog.

Razlog and Golak Hill

For a long time we wanted to visit Razlog and more specifically the hill above the town of Golak. There stands a metal spiral tower that overlooks the city and the mountains. We learned about the tower from the “101 stops” book and couldn’t wait to get to this landmark. Our plans have temporarily failed because of the rain that started to pour. This forced us to stop first at the studio we had booked at Aspen Golf and Ski resort. When we arrived, the weather got worse. Black clouds popped up, lightnings started to flash and overall became quite frightening. It immediately became clear to me that it was time for a nap. After we had rested, the rain had already stopped at 8 P.M in the evening, the black clouds had cleared. We started the car and headed directly to Golak Hill. The road there was nice and straight, but there was no separate parking lot or at least we didn’t find one. We left the car near one of the houses and continued walking up the stairs to the top of the hill. The name of the path is the “Stairs footpath”. On the way up, there are interesting signs that show what animal and plant species are in the area. We didn’t remember any of them them. Maybe because we were in a hurry to see the 12-foot tower before it got dark. When we reached the top, we were pleasantly surprised of what we saw. The tower was truly impressive and the view from the top was breathtaking. Another thing we really liked was the metal terrace in front of the tower that allowed you to come forward and enjoy the city.

When viewed from a drone, the tower looks like this:

The rest of the alley was also very interesting with its wooden chairs, sun beds and swings. I’m glad we were there at sunset to see the orange sky and enjoy the view.

With that, the day’s adventures ended. In the evening we sat down for dinner at the hotel restaurant. We drank a glass of wine and returned to our room for a well-deserved rest.

Marin is the person who organizes all trips – reservations, route selections and luggage preparations. He works actively in the IT, but even more actively likes to rest.

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